Tip: Mock up your designs

A lot of hobbyist web designers start by creating the content for their web pages, then try to add graphics to "spice it up". This is a mistake. It's very hard to make a page look appealing in retrospect.

Start with a high-quality vector graphics tool - I recommend Inkscape - and properly design the website. To represent where to put content use Lorem Ipsum or simply rectangles to represent individual paragraphs. Once you are satisfied with a design, recreate it in HTML, exporting any graphical elements you need from the mockup.

You can use this approach even for sites that don't need graphics; it is beneficial for choosing colours, fonts and layouts as well as for creating fully graphical sites.

Be careful though - you need to design a mockup that you can successfully convert to HTML. Graphics programs are WYSIWYG but the web is not and this places constraints on what you can successfully produce. Beware in particular of how the site changes as your browser window or text size changes.


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